Apple: Just Like a Stinking Penny Stock

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Apple (AAPL) has taken on the aura of a penny stock. Ironically, it reminds me of what Sirius XM (SIRI) used to be.

I recall ( Central Park in fall, how you tore your dress, what a mess?) an excellent video from July 2011 where Jim Cramer basically called SIRI's turnaround. Since that appearance the stock has returned roughly 55%. No two ways, man -- it made me look bad as I was bearish, but that's not what we're here to talk about. Cramer made points that, oddly, we can now broadly apply to AAPL:

I would not tell people to avoid SIRI. I think you can have it as a speculative stock now ... Because at the same time as it's gotten its capital structure together, it's owned by really bad hands. It's owned by people who are flippers and traders and penny stock guys and I don't like them as my colleagues when I own a stock.

Flippers. Traders. And penny stock guys.

Of course, AAPL is a $500 stock so don't take me literally; however, the conversations and antics now associated with it resemble the type of stuff we used to see regularly with SIRI and names such as Research in Motion ( RIMM), which deserve penny stock status, at least from a symbolic standpoint.

Mind an "$AAPL" Twitter feed for a few minutes here and there each day. Visit message boards across the Internet. Pay attention at the bus stop. Turn on your favorite morning drive radio show. Eavesdrop on your kid's conversations at school. Everybody is talking about this stock.

AAPL, AAPL, AAPL. Play the hits, baby. Because that's what people want to hear. And I don't blame you. I want to hear about Apple as well. It's the most compelling, yet infuriating stock on the market. Especially with earnings coming Wednesday; you cannot look away.

Neither can I.

While much of the conversation that surrounds AAPL still treads above the bar -- it rarely did with SIRI during its battleground days -- a fair bit of it has morphed into penny stock-like trash talk.

On down days, bears gloat about how bad things have become. Apple's best days are behind it. People post things like TIMBERRRRRR.

When it's up, the bulls get all up in the bears' faces. As it rallies, I expect somebody to post YO, SLAP THE ASK!. It's just absurd.

Very little that makes it into our Apple information flow is real. There's no meaning. It's all hype, rumor and innuendo. It's bears trying their best to talk the stock down. And bulls getting all emotional, coming to AAPL's defense like it's a spouse or cherished village elder.

All else equal, AAPL is the absolute best investment on the stock market. Everything you look for - fundamentally, quantitatively, qualitatively -- it's all there. Then there's the ultimate differentiator: Apple has no meaningful competition, therefore it winds up competing against itself.

With that, longs should welcome a healthy amount of skepticism and constructive caution vis-a-vis the future. That's what I attempted to bring to the conversation during the first half of 2012 when I wasn't the biggest AAPL bull. But then, somewhere along the way, a gaggle of Wall Street and media hacks hijacked my reasoning and turned end-of-year tax-related selling into the type of hysteria that shouldn't pressure the stock six months to a year, if ever.

We're dealing with the same smoke-and-mirrors, dog-and-pony show type stuff you see in penny stocks. Again, don't think specifics, think theoretically.

Too many bad hands in this stock now -- trash talkers, flippers, traders and, despite the hefty price tag, penny stock guys. Though I suspect many of the biggest influencers here -- media cats, bloggers, Wall Street types, etc. -- don't even own this thing. But that does not stop them from poisoning the waters.

Like I said, I am all for being critical. I even love more than an average amount of controversy. But, man, somewhere in the last few weeks or months, we crossed the line with AAPL.

That makes it a stock not worth owning. Even if it ends up $700 again or realizes price targets of $1000-plus, the crap and anxiety that accompanies AAPL if you attempt to buy-and-hold it precludes the stock from being an reasonable option for investors who do not have nerves of steel or, as, Alec Baldwin said in "Glengarry Glen Ross," "brass balls."

--Written by Rocco Pendola in Santa Monica, Calif.

Rocco Pendola is TheStreet's Director of Social Media. Pendola's daily contributions to TheStreet frequently appear on CNBC and at various top online properties, such as Forbes.

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